Yesterday brought me another vacant house.
I could feel the emptiness when I walked in.
All of life had literally been sucked out of its walls, with the departure of its owners.
The walls seemed sad as their blank faces stared at me. They looked especially pale, void of any portraits or signs of life to add a little color to their cheeks. Just random nails poking out here and there like a bad case of acne.
The floors were clean, but flat. Boring. They seemed to be pining away for something to do. Their purpose ripped away from them when the moving van left the driveway. They had gone days without even the pitter patter of little feet gracing their surface.
The silence echoed.
No whir of appliances. No laughter or conversation.
Personality had left this four-bedroom bungalow, and now it sat lifeless as a blank slate.
This house was no longer a home.
And it was my job to make it one.
To bring something back to life and into the market of interested buyers who want more than just an empty box to look at.
This house, like all the others before and after it, had specific needs.
Specific quirks and qualities that needed to be addressed in specific ways.
Nine hours and lots of work later, it was no longer the same.
In came furniture, art, bedding.
Those protruding nails were used to hang beauty.
The floors were once again put to good use.
Empty rooms were filled with comfort and invitation.
Life was once again returning to the building.
I swear I saw the walls smile, their cheeks flush with the excitement of feeling pretty again.
Even the floors creaked a bit, seeming to sigh with gratitude for another chance to serve.
As I left, locking the door of this house-become-home, it occurred to me that each of us is not too different from this little rambler.
Unique in our quirks and qualities. Desperate for purpose. Longing for color and life.
And hopefully, empty.
Empty enough, trusting enough to let the Great Interior Designer come in and do what needs to be done to make our hearts into a true home.
What it was always meant to be.
A home for Him. A home for others.
A warm, inviting place.
He can adorn those blank walls of our lives, using those nasty acne-type nails of circumstance and failure to hang beautiful pictures of glorious stories of His miraculous work.
He can give purpose to our flat floors of confusion or hopelessness. He can show us the value of each plank and how He intends to use it to support others, to serve as a dance floor of celebration for us, Himself and others to enjoy.
He brings the color of real, true life.
He adds the comfort of His Spirit.
The music of His presence.
And, suddenly, our empty, quirky little house becomes His beautiful home.
Can you feel your walls smiling and your happy floors creaking in delight?
Isaiah 43:19 – For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Ephesians 3:17-19 – Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Philippians 1:6 – And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.